15 | Secrets?
I stepped outside and noted with approval as I looked around the vast hallways. It was truly elegant in a magnificent manner. This floor had a good view given the fact that this was the top floor and vast balconies surrounded the circular-shaped hall. Since it was dark outside because of the stormy weather, the chandeliers on the ceiling were lighted and cast a small glow.
I traced my hands on the sandstone brick walls, enjoying the feel of its rough texture beneath my palms, and spot the ‘library’ sign at the far end down to the right side.
The double doors were enormous and carved beautifully. I pushed open the doors and soon my nostrils filled with the rusty smell of old books and sage which always had the ability to comfort me like nothing ever has. There was something oddly satisfying about visiting libraries. The smell of old pages was really comforting.
The library was like the one you saw in roman paintings. There were high ceilings and huge ladders beside some shelves. It was truly a bookworm’s fantasy hub.
I roamed around the place, the sound of my stiletto heels echoed through the vast wide hallways. I scanned my surrounding with my mouth wide open in excitement.
As I stopped in front of one of the many shelves, I pulled out a green worn out a floral patterned novel from the section labeled old-time romance.
My eyes enlarged when I noticed that the book was one of the first edition of Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’.
The book was in a good condition despite the outside appearance only hinting its growing age, I opened the mint-colored hardcover to reveal the first page of the book.
‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again....’
I settled down on one of the dark brown leather armchairs that were placed decoratively in a circle and glanced up to see the rainy sky. Even after being encased inside the slightly dark glass walls and thick sandstone brick walls, the musty smell of rain wafted through the atmosphere making me feel serene.
I focused my attention back on the novel and leaned back on the couch to make myself comfortable.
As I kept on reading about Rebecca’s innocence in her early days of marriage I couldn’t help but feel bad about her. She really did love her husband. I remember reading about all the criticism the writer once faced when she wrote this book. Many people pointed out Rebecca as a weak naïve stupid girl whereas in reality she was only blindly devoted to Maxim.
I often refrained from reading classic English literature. Most of them were too depressing for my taste and already depressed self. That’s why I loved modern romance books. They were more interesting and focused on reality more.
My thoughts were broken when I hear a familiar chuckle from behind me and swiftly turn in my seat to look back only to find Blaze with a thin manila envelope in his hand and a MacBook pro in his other hand. He looked gorgeous like always and was wearing a black shirt with grey slacks that made him look professionally elegant and dangerous at the same time.
I couldn’t help but stare at him which, much to my embarrassment he notices and lets out another soft laugh.
I look away from him as the now-familiar lust starts pooling in my veins.
“What are you laughing about?” I mutter sullenly and look down at the novel pretending to read.
I watch him from the corner of my eye as he places his laptop on the coffee table and see him sink on the L-shaped couch opposite mine.
I roll my eyes trying to appear disinterested because I really did not want to talk to him after last night. First, he insulted me and then he almost seduced me and he even witnessed my vulnerable state. I know I sounded irrational but it was the least I could do because I had to keep him at an arm's length away from me if I wanted to grasp onto my sanity longer.
Suddenly a thought hits which felt quite ridiculous, was he following me?
Besides this, I did not know how to describe his actions. He always seemed to appear in front of me more than anyone else.
Calling this castle huge would be an understatement, it was like ten buildings rolled into one, and yet Blaze always seemed to find his way back to me. Starting from the day at the kitchen to Irisfield, sure it might be merely a coincidence after all it was normal for him to be at those places. But the question was why he was present at those locations whenever I was present?
I pushed aside the thought at the back of my head and become aware of Blaze’s eyes on me.
“I never really pegged you as the type who read sappy English novels,” He said.
“Huh! Says the one who actually owns all these so-called sappy novels” I say and snort mockingly at him.
He smiles with a tilted gaze and looks down shaking his head.
That is when I notice those gorgeous cute dimples popping out. Sure I saw him smile and laugh before but I never noticed them on him. In fact, I was one of those people who did not understand the cooing fuss about men having dimples. But right now looking at those very adorable dimples adorning the side of Blaze’s mouth making him look younger than his age, I start liking them.
“These actually belonged to my late grandmother whom I never really had the chance to meet. According to my mother, she was the most charming romantic woman you could ever come across” He says distractedly with a fond smile playing on his lips.
I nod at his words and with a soft smile playing on my lips, I cross my legs, which is a habit of mine, and see Blaze’s stare trailing up and down my legs. With the intensity he was staring at me, I shift in my chair uncomfortably to alleviate some of the growing tension, and just like that without a word, he opens his laptop and starts typing with his brows furrowed in concentration.
Trying to not look like a fool staring at him, I resume reading my book. A few minutes pass away with us wrapped in a comfortable silence for which I was glad because I really did not want to talk to him about what happened last night.
Just because I felt comfortable towards him didn’t mean that I was going to lay down my guard so easily.
A few words of Alana comes back to my head ’It often feels good to let out your frustrations’
I try not to dwell on my thoughts much and suddenly notice the file that Blaze bought with him earlier. What caught my attention was the symbol that was drawn on top of the envelope. It was a black serpent with some words written inside the circle created by the snake’s body.
A/N - Could Blaze be hiding secrets too? Let me know what you think of this chapter!